Researchers must recognize the role of systemic and historical racism and bias, Boden-Albala said, and acknowledge that procedural processes and recruitment are still subject to unintentional bias that affects who is included in – and excluded from – clinical trials.
To remedy these disparities, she said, three critical functions must be addressed: screening, the conversion from eligible to enrolled, and retention. “The lack of diversity often comes down to a straightforward reason: We simply aren’t asking people to participate, and if we are asking, we’re not asking in a way that makes the case for trial participation,” Boden-Albala said. “Through empathetic dialogue and strengthened community partnerships, we can transform clinical research for the better and work toward a future that’s more inclusive and equitable for all. Improving diversity and inclusion in research is, at its core, a matter of social justice.”
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